“Prone to wander, Lord, I feel it, prone to leave the God I love; here’s my heart, O take and seal it, seal it for thy courts above.” Oh how we are prone to wander. We wander sometimes just because of the monotonous happenings of everyday life and sometimes because everyday life is interrupted by a tropical storm or hurricane. This wandering can be very dangerous. It is dangerous because of the places we go. We do not tend to wander toward wellsprings of joy. We typically wander into sand pits of joyless sin. This sin is dangerous not only because it estranges us from God but because it also teaches us false things about God himself. Does God care? Does God love me? Is this natural disaster the result of a lack of love and total lovelessness? He cannot love me! Look at what is going on! Where are you? Beloved, cease striving and know that He is God (Psa. 41:6, NASB).
Do you want evidence that God loves you? Take your eyes off the news reports. Look away from the flooded house, the water-stained memorabilia, and all your damaged things. Gaze not upon what has been lost. Look upon what has been gained. Look upon the Lord of glory so broken and bruised. “Doubting God’s love today? When you’re tempted to doubt God’s love for you, stand before the cross and look at the wounded, dying, disfigured Savior, and realize why He is there. I believe His Father would whisper to us, ‘Isn’t this sufficient? I haven’t spared My own Son; I deformed and disfigured and crushed Him — for you. What more could I do to persuade you that I love you?” Disasters aren’t denials of God’s goodness or His love. In fact, we are redeemed by disasters. Especially, cruciform death penalties given to a sinless Savior who died for the joy of his people and his Father’s blazing display of soul-satisfying glory. The measuring rod of God’s love is not a natural disaster but Jesus on the cross (John 3:16).
Also, avoid the cavernous ditch of doubting that God is not in control. If he is on the throne in the good, he is most certainly on the throne in the bad. Do not denounce this truth because present, dark clouds shadow the light of divine truth. Such denials are corrosive to our very faith. Denying God’s sovereignty amidst suffering is not only a cosmic absurdity but fosters a cosmic feeling of alienation. Our earthly trust is wedded to his heavenly reign. If God is impotent to control, direct, and sustain all of life (the lovely and unlovely), who cares if he loves? Love entails the lover’s desire for the beloved’s welfare. It seeks after the loved’s benevolence and good. It works things out so the paths of life can be both sweet and satisfying amidst grim situations. It requires ability, sustenance, and control. “…the most fundamental thing we can say about God is that he is sovereign. So that is where I begin. I begin at the bottom, the root, the foundation of all we cherish, all the grace, all the love, all the patience, all the faithfulness, all the forgiveness, all the security and hope and peace and joy. All these things rest on the deep and glorious sovereignty of God. If God is not sovereign, he is not God, and all our hope is dashed.” Our hope is intricately bound up with the joy-sustaining knowledge of the reality that God is working all things to our good because we are called according to his purpose (Rom. 8:28). Our hope is built upon pillars of biblical realities-a dying, sinless man gasping for air under the weight of God’s holy wrath, a memory of the future when he will return and wipe away all hurricane-caused tears, and of a divine promise that he is working all things out according to his purpose (Eph. 1:11). Do not doubt. Believe. Drink. Taste. Eat. Love. Enjoy. Trust.